Adrena is a quite unknown navigation software (at least for non racing yachtsmen and yachtswomen), but an excellent alternative to Maxsea, developed initially for professional skippers, that has become a reference in the offshore sailing racing circuit. But now that satellite internet connexions became affordable for cruisers, it has also become an almost indispensable software for those who want to get access to a simple and efficient routing, wherever they are, to increase their pleasure and safety while sailing offshore.
The software was initially designed for offshore racing, with Michel Desjoyaux a.k.a “the professor”, 2 times winner of the “Vendée Globe”, being among the first users. It’s now the most used navigation and routing software for inshore and offshore sailing races throughout the world , and benefits from the feedbacks of all those users to keep getting better.
But if you’re not a professional racer, you should really keep reading anyway, as Adrena is a fantastic software for cruisers too. Associated with Grib US and the amazing “Optima” module, it allows cruisers to plan any navigation taking into account the weather forecasts, via an easy import of Grib files (registration and 7 days forecasts are free on Grib.US) and performance of the boat.
Basically, all you have to do is purchase and install the Adrena Navigation Software (Windows), ideally with its “Optima” module for routing. The software uses C-Map Charts, that you can purchase anywhere.
Installing Adrena on your laptop is quite easy:
- Install Adrena (10 minutes)
- Enter your key and plug the Dongle (sent with the Software), that will allow you to use the Adrena Software, your grib.us account and C-Maps on multiple PC. (10 minutes as you have to read the short and useful instruction)
Once the software is installed, import your boat’s VPP and Sails parameter:
- I recommend that you contact the boat builder that manufactured your yacht and ask for the most accurate VPP they have on an excel sheet. Then, if like me, you’re not computer friendly, you can send the VPP excel sheet to the Adrena support team. They are really nice and will quickly send you back a “.pol” file, that you will import very simply in less than a couple of minutes.
- You should also get in touch with your sail-maker to ask him for each sail a range of use. The sail-maker can send you back a table like the one underneath (again, an example from an Aureus XV). Then send it back to the Adrena team that will send you back, for each sail a “.sel” file. Finally, a few easy clicks will allow you to import those files in the “Optima” Software in less than 2 minutes.
Aureus XV’ Sails’ Range – A necessary table to benefit from all Adrena and Optima have to offer for routing
You’re all set for routing.
All you have to do is :
- download a Grib File (between 0,1 and 1,2 Mb) on Grib US.
- Open Adrena and go to “Create a Routing”
- Select the Waypoints (you can point on your C-Map)
- Select the VPP you want to use (you can configure, while sailing, different ones if you’re using your boat under different configurations)
- Select the Grib US you just saved on your computer
- You can optionally choose a maximum acceptable wind, the limit you don’t want to cross (upwind and downwind) and/or a maximum height of waves…that’s really awesome compared to the very few and expensive tools we had for routing just 10 years ago !
- And yes, you can also choose a mix routing, asking the Adrena software to shift to engine propulsion at a speed of 7 knots (for instance) if there is no way to sail faster than 4 knots (for instance) on your optimal route .
For those reasons, we chose to install the “Adrena Large Pack“, including the “Optima” routing module and C-Map Max Megawide charts, on the Aureus XV Absolute. The total cost is around 2.800$ or 2200€ (including 2 C-Map charts). Thanks the on board broadband Mini SAt V3, (fast Internet everywhere) we can create routing or update existing ones any time, in less than 5 minutes and for a cost of less than 1$. Isn’t that great ? Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back, whether it is for security reasons, comfort or speed.
Feel free to send feedbacks or comments, especially if you disagree or think of better alternatives.
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